A case of cerebral gumma presenting as brain tumor in a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative patient

Chan Woo Lee, Mi Jin Lim, Dongwook Son, Jin Soo Lee, Moon Hyun Cheong, In Shu Park, Myoung Kwan Lim, Eunsil Kim, Yoon Ha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Syphilis, along with the recent increase of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients, has also been on the rise. It has a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations, among which cerebral gumma is, a kind of neurosyphilis, however, it is rare and can be cured by penicillin. Thus, cerebral gumma needs to be differentially diagnosed from other brain masses that may be present in syphilis patients. We have experienced a case where the patient was first suspected of brain tumor, but confirmed by surgery to be cerebral gumma due to neurosyphilis. This is the first such case encountered in Korea, therefore, we report it here in. A 40-year old woman complaining of headaches was found to have a brain mass on her CT scans and MRI. Suspecting a brain Tumor, a resection was performed on the patient, and histological results revealed that the central portion of the mass contained necrotic material and the peripheral region was infiltrated with plasma cells. Warthin-Starry staining of the region revealed spirochetes, and the patient was thus diagnosed as brain gumma. Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was reactive. After an operation, penicillin-G at a daily dose of 24 × 106 U was given for 10 days from post-operative day 10, and thereafter, the mass disappeared.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-288
Number of pages5
JournalYonsei medical journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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